“So many things to do, so little time.” This phrase may be a bit overused, yet it’s true, don’t you think? We now live in a modern, hectic, and fast-paced world, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Do you wish you can freeze the clock or stretch time just so you can accommodate everything on your plate? A lot of us do!
Juggling work, professional engagements, personal responsibilities, and self-growth activities is certainly challenging. But you can pull it off! The key here is managing your time wisely. Learn and master the tried and tested ways to become more productive. Let’s start with these basic yet vital productivity hacks:
Write it Down. Got plans, ideas, and goals in mind? Get them out of your head or you’ll be at your wits’ end. Write them down on a journal, calendar, or vision board. It will serve as your guide, inspiration, and motivation, so you can turn your ideas into reality and accomplish your goals! According to a Harvard Business study, people with written goals are more productive and successful than those who do not. Make this a habit and you’ll increase your productivity.
Plan Ahead. Start your day right (and awesomely) by planning your day the night before. Before going to bed, check your schedule and to-do list. Identify your priority tasks and make a plan. This way, you’ll get a head start and hit the ground running right away. You won’t waste time thinking of what to do first and instead, have more time for the things you’ve planned to do.
Declutter and Decorate. Decluttering is not just a buzzword. It is and should be a way of life! To be productive, it’s important that you keep your space clean and organized. Studies reveal that an untidy workspace has a negative impact on productivity. So, get rid of junk, arrange your room, and put some plants and minimal decors to your liking. This will make you relaxed and motivated, and ultimately, more productive.
Block Distractions. Now that you have successfully planned your day and tidied up your space, you can start ticking off tasks in your to-do list. But don’t try to multi-task. Work on a single task or activity and block all distractions. They are major productivity killers! Turn off your cell phone and quit checking your email. Focus on the task at hand and once you’re done, you can move on to the next one.
Take Breaks. No matter how busy and energetic you are, you’re still at risk of experiencing burnout. In order to stop energy zappers and to stay productive, you must take breaks! From two-minute mini breaks to 15- to 20-minute recovery breaks, they can help you relax and recharge. Give your productivity a boost by meditating, crafting, stretching, or simply getting some fresh air and enjoying nature.
Leverage High-Tech and Online Tools. Technology is constantly innovating and advancing, and it undeniably helps make our lives easier. Whether at home or in the office, there are high-tech and online tools that you can use to increase your productivity. The best examples of these tools are productivity apps that can help you set your goals, organize your schedules, manage your projects, and communicate with your colleagues or clients. Consider using such apps and see your productivity improve.
Heavy workload and never-ending to-do lists can be overwhelming. Don’t let them wear you down! You won’t need super powers to accomplish a lot. Just take note of the tips we mentioned to supercharge your productivity and make the most of every day! If you want to know if you can really juggle it all, check out Splash of Colour Pocast below where Pauline and Laura chat to Dr Diane Harner, Nuroscientist who gives us the facts on juggling it all!
This letter was written to my CheeHoo Beta Test Tribe in January, in readiness for testing. Thank you Beta Testers for your help! From 21 months, idea to launch we have truly challenged all the self-imposed deadlines that I put un us. I cannot believe we have launched.
I remember when CheeHoo was just a brain fart whilst I was getting irritated one morning when there was no almond milk and I had been to the service station the night before on my way home. Thinking what the hell! Why didn’t I get it last night? Aggghh…
CheeHoo nagged me for a couple of months before I really did anything, then the addiction started. To create something to help me hustle better at my day job and not be irritated because my memory couldn’t hold the capacity to remember the small things. Now we are launched.
As I was walking during a break at work to get coffee, I got my first smart notification from my shopping list to stop by Australia Post to buy a stamp (yes, they still sell those) and Australia Post was across the road. I couldn’t believe it, but then I could, as I remember testing that thing gazillion times walking and driving around waiting for notices to pop up intuitively.
So since launching I have been asked how did you practically start, what was in those 21 months.
So here is my secret:
This will not be the last time I use the above to work out my next project and or experience in life. We have so much opportunity and we should not waste time, sitting on ideas, accepting status quo especially when they involve creating something from yourself with purpose you love.
Do not feel that the daily grind of the rat race is all of you. It may be a hobby or a start-up or buying something you always wanted but felt selfish, you need to reflect on the time we have and weigh up all the risks, if they are worth living with and not life threatening, do it.
CheeHoo has over 170 Customers so far in its young 14 days live and lots more to do to create a practical personal assistant that can help juggle the day to day mundane schedule and try bringing the important things into perspective, like our time and loved ones.
I look forward to the next chapter and what I can sink my teeth into, right now its fine tuning the app and connecting with all I love who I’ve neglected for a few months whilst in my start up cave, but who knows what is next, riots before diets 😊
This is CheeHoo Life, where nothing is impossible. You Love, you are Loved, and the universe aligns to serve you!
There are many ways to get shit done and most of the time I have no problems doing it. However, when I have a block, I recognise it to be a handful of blueprinted behaviour that rises, no matter how big or small the task.
These are the:
1. Procrastination loop – hate this feeling
2. Debbie downer - the Doubter
3. Perfectionist, obsessive – the staller
When getting shit done, you need to talk less on the subject and spend more time doing!
Too much chatter focused on what you’re attempting to do can be the start of the Procrastination loop. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need to talk yourself into an idea, as it can create the momentum and energy to get started. But at a point it must turn into an action, otherwise you can count yourself as being at risk of being one of those people… Yes, the ones that just talk and a couple of years later are still talking.
If you get caught in this cycle often, you need to practice being aware of the words you say out loud and the action you follow behind it. I make it a practice to allow the words that come out of my mouth to be the plan I intend on executing. Once I say it out loud to someone, starting with I’m going to, that is my commitment and promise and I am compelled to do it. So, I only ever just start with Step one. I don’t rush all the steps or overthink it. The rest of the steps come, as you create action – practice this, it helps you step out of the procrastination loop.
If I have an idea still incubating in my mind and I need help in pushing it along, I select one, maximum two people I trust whole heartedly to provide me an environment where my thoughts can be ratified safely. I tend to do this for the more serious ideas where I feel vulnerable or like I’m over-reaching my abilities, but I am compelled to pursue. Like doing a start up!
But, if you tend to do this often with the smaller decisions, you may need to work on reflecting on why you are not trusting yourself before you take the leap. Do you have your facts, do you know step 1 because that’s all you need to start? If you have all of this and still haven’t decided, maybe measure the consequence of failing. If it’s small and you wouldn’t even remember it in 1 years’ time, then just do it. This is called measuring risk, just don’t live there!
Now you have started, but then you become stuck again, especially when you are executing something personal, complex or new to you, either can be equally challenging.
Welcome Debbie downer. Right now, my plan is to launch CheeHoo in a couple of weeks, there has been a few delays and at times I have this overcrowded sensation which looks like fear that I am not ready! So here are the steps in front of me at a high level; get the mountain of development done, testing continuously, then pull the trigger and get it into Beta Testing (Testing with more people than me and my team), then launch. It feels like forever and a lot, so doubt creeps in and dances around me.
If you ask me to do this in my day job, I can do it blind folded with no hesitation or fear but doing it for myself... that’s a whole other psychological mind trip. I’m new to the start-up world (my excuse). I am very familiar with delivering technology in the corporate world. Where you have a team, everyone has a role and knows deadlines, we get shit done. The cost of slippage is shared, and consequence of failing is bigger than me, so a totally different feeling to what it is like, when it’s your own start up, and you are accountable for everything!
To overcome these anxieties, I have to play mind tricks on myself. I pretend I’m doing it for another company, not my own, just to take some of the edge off. When that’s not working, I then go to that trusted person to fill my boots with sometimes biased confidence then turn around and keep going. When I’m doing this, I know it’s biased, but unfortunately my brain and its associated feelings are bigger than me, so I have to trick it out of the vicious Debbie downer cycle and remove the doubt with a sense of validation and certainty, to help me carry on – this works, trust me!
Perfectionist, obsessive. So, what about when you pass a deadline and your still not done and its out of your control? I have this feeling right now. It does not feel cool! When you’re so keen to get things done and you can see a completed puzzle but some of the pieces are missing. This is frustrating as hell. You cannot rush product quality, nor can you perfect and over engineer… Aggghh, what kind of contradiction is this? Then you should check you’re not over perfecting and you’re not stalling for the wrong reasons, but the right ones.
At this point I must decision based on gut feel, to balance the anxious rush with a calmed patience for what must be done right, to know when I’m selecting the right thing is impossible, so gut intuition must kick in. Doing this is not easy, but I’m now very practiced, I trust my gut a lot more than I use too. It is especially challenging to do this, when you have publicly made a commitment to do this by a certain time, but you also committed yourself to delivering what is in your vision, which needs a little more time. (note to self: don’t even communicate public timelines).
I have people asking me how it is going? are you done yet? At times my initial reaction is Get of my Jock, purely because of my own internal dialogue and expectation, which is now heightened because I am running over time, but then I wake up and realise they are as excited as me to see it done. So, I choose to leverage that pressure for more momentum to carry on, oh that’s after I have muttered curse words under my breath – yes, I am human.
Overall there is no secret serum to getting things done. Just a level of awareness of your patterns when you’re stuck and a forgiveness to allow yourself to restart. I find myself so practiced in my reflection that I now have created habits to just keep going, these are my default habits when I get stuck. Shake it off, start again and when in doubt, tell your fear to shut the Fruck up! You have not got time on this earth to sit in a Procrastination loop, be a Debbie downer, or become Perfectionist obsessive if it doesn’t impact your overall vision.
This is CheeHoo Life, where nothing is impossible. You Love, you are Loved, and the universe aligns to serve you!
Well who the f*ck knows. All I know is how I start my day and there really is nothing that romantic about it.
I do know I have read it all; the tips and tricks about how successful people wake up, exercise early like an athlete, meditate like a Yogi, then read a pile of books before 7am blah blah blah...
I find these inspirational articles overwhelming, un-motivating and sometimes leaving me feeling like a sloth.
It sounds like these successful people I read about, Zen through life just because of their morning rituals. What they don’t write about is their habits the rest of the day or their mornings before they hit success. Surely now, they have the luxury of help, so they can prioritise that marathon run followed by an ice-cold plunge bath. For most successful men I imagine they are either single or have a partner behind them picking up the pieces of the morning.
I am an early riser, but when I am on holidays, I won’t be out of bed before 8.30am. Preferring coffee in bed, so I can sit there and procrastinate pretending I have no cares, obligations or duties to run too, it’s the best. But not often enough.
So as a very normal person juggling the daily of this modern-day world, most of my morning routine comes from the pull of gazillion things I want to get done before I hustle off to the office. Sometimes its routine, sometimes it’s chaotic because it’s more compressed as I fit more in.
My system in place is a mix of; walking the dog, coffee, do some emails (small items that are quick to tick off), social check in, calendar and priorities check in, tidy house, shower, get dressed, feed people, check the time, realise I’m late as I rush out the door. Oh, and I also spend a few moments procrastinating on what I’m going to wear.
In the evenings it’s just as busy, as I get into bed I start to remember all the things I missed off my to do list and close my eyes to start all over again.
I have worked out however, the structure and routine I once clung too, has been replaced by a fluid motion of juggling and compromising, mainly with myself. I have enlisted the help of my husband and find we are doing the tag team to get to our commitments and often find some things are dropped, but instead of apologising, I just keep the train moving and don’t entertain the normal saga of feeling bad.
I have learnt that 24 hours is a long time and sleep is overrated, especially when you have a purpose focused on getting monkeys off the back and hustling to create a Start-up. I find my systems need to include practical support and adapting the routine when I can’t carry it all. Sometimes I need to breathe and fit in what I can, knowing it’s okay and enough. This mantra is my system and ritual.
So back to the question how do successful people start their mornings?
I believe a successful day is:
Lastly avoid reading articles about how successful people get it all done when they are gazillionaire’s and have the help to do it, find the article that shows their rituals when they had nothing and we’re just starting out. Otherwise just keep doing you, you are enough.
This is CheeHoo Life, where nothing is impossible. You Love, you are Loved, and the universe aligns to serve you!
CheeHoo, a passionate demonstration of emotion through war or celebration, much like life. Walking through one step at a time, day by day, year by year. It’s crazy to think how much we fit in and how much we don’t. How much our brains consume, how much our heart feels and how hard and easy it is on any given minute.
Do you ever wonder whether you’re on the right path, living the right life, having the right priorities, whilst enjoying life?
Do you ever reflect and think; wow, I have just passed a year and I made the most of that chapter and have so much more to live? Years fly pass and its easy to get caught up in the routine and daily pressures and its easy not to reflect. Reflection is not only positive or negative milestones, but from a value of life and happiness perspective. Am I living the type of life that I can appreciate all the moments, good and bad. What did I learn, have I evolved as a human? Do I know myself more and do I know those I love, more? Do I have a deeper sense of myself? Have the conditions I put on myself and others, evolved?
I reflect often as I take this CheeHoo journey and realise only a year ago I truly knew nothing about the depth of the conditions I set in my life. In the past I have had no capacity to think deeply into myself, I was too busy being disciplined, successful, pleasing, grounded but somewhat disconnected.
I was running multiple races in my daily life. Leading a small enterprise; job, family, household, over committed weekends, curating (at times in my head) a fabulous life, whilst capturing it on my social feed; which I’ve never been good at personally but did try. Some people are amazing at it, juggling more, plus more social channels, including Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, messenger, mailboxes and hectic schedules. Then on top of this we have a ritual of a few hours a week catching up on our alter egos via Netflix or Stan.
This is the modern-society pattern, especially women. We fit so much in and hang on sometimes, by a thread. Our mind is so busy with keeping everything a float, our brain often cannot function without it, for fear of missing out.
When I’m in the thick of juggling life, especially work, I am on autopilot. Operating faster and harsher. My throughput increases but my patience shortens, I have shallow breathing, tightened shoulders and barely notice the outside world until the job is done. I get tunnel focused, where my loved ones around me are just shrubs I’m passing by whilst doing 200 on a highway. This is when I’m at my peak of stress and I don’t realise it. Then after running like this for some time my body starts to give in and the signs appear, I get a head cold, injure a body part, end up looking like a well put together zombie in a hamster wheel.
I wake up some mornings not even remembering the thoughts I had before I slept. Some Monday’s get blurred for Thursday’s before I know it I’m counting down Friday’s. Then suddenly I stop as my body gives in and it’s a Sunday and I finally stare out at the world blissful in gratitude for the air I am breathing. I then reflect on all the things I could have done better, or not done at all. Managing all the noise around us is hard work and sometimes it’s full time just to feel some level of structure and organisation with so many things screaming for your attention.
I have recently realised my patterns and consciously trying to slow my mind and create new behaviours and get comfortable. I am still productive plus creating a start-up, but I am trying to remove the false conditions in my life, the extra noise and chatter that goes on. I make smarter decisions, so I don’t over commit, but also don’t limit. I have removed some old habits that don’t contribute to the outcome; including the duplication of to do lists; notes on my phone, home office, kitchen calendar, reminding me to climb a mountain and live life.
I have simplified it, which has taken some time to do and lots of behaviour realignment, breathing and self-talk. I still want to climb mountains and I haven’t removed it all. Working on CheeHoo gives me hope that more tools functional designed to promote the right things, like organising noise not adding to it and keeping connected to those most important, will help me do the rest. I will have a personal assistant and lifestyle app; however, the rest is up to me, my awareness of life and how precious it is, will reshape how I live.
We humans have it good. With intuition to seek progress and the ambition to build rockets, I am blessed to have grown into these feet right here, right now. Though we all have pain, fear and doubt, if I flood my brain with gratitude and limit negative thoughts it generates a strength and appreciation that leads the way.
Practising this state of mind is an ongoing journey and requires awareness, trust in a process of forgiveness when you forget. It’s not easy but as with many things creating a new habit takes practice.
With only 7 weeks to go to the Launch of CheeHoo, I am shitting myself on the daily, whilst carrying on. At times thinking if I am the only one that will need this and just how uncomfortable this new world of a start-up is for me, where I am not certain of the outcome and I must flow with where my decisions take me. This is CheeHoo Life, where nothing is impossible. You Love, you are Loved, and the universe aligns to serve you!
A couple of years ago I came to the realisation that I was busy! I also was tired of hearing me respond to people with 'I am busy'.
I was always playing catch up feeling like I was constantly juggling all the balls in the air. Hoping one would not drop. How do you happily juggle love, family, demanding job, friends, social apps and of course maintaining a house, oh and the Puppy I just bought. I thought crap lucky I don’t have little kids! I would be screwed!
Being in my 30 something’s I was also drawn to work on my internal to do list, trying to be more patient, kind and tolerant, yep I was screwed... My crazy schedule and need to perfectly satisfy all demands had me roaming around half zombie/robot. As the only girl in a brood of brothers, two sets of parents, I juggled my forty to sixty-hour work week and obsessive-compulsive tendencies, not allowing me to keep an unorganised personal life. My talents include getting shit done at home and work, being the organised wife, dependable daughter, reliable sister, loyal friend, living a cycle of 'ground hog day', bored of being busy and tired. Also, I did carry around a suitcase of guilt for all the times I dropped the ball.
Balancing my ever growing to do list and my day job as an IT Delivery Consultant with meetings and problem solving all day, I was a professional juggler. I would sometimes day dream of going into hospital just for one week. Maybe have an operation so I could be knocked out with some anaesthetic and have the best sleep of my life, then be fed and bathed without having to leave my room... Yes, it got that desperate at times.
I thought shit, there must be a better way for me to organise myself better, maybe reduce some noise by disconnecting some things and finding new tools to make it magically sorted without expending more energy. So, I started the hunt thinking I could find a solution to basically create an efficient, intuitive way to manage my life. I was looking for a robot that would follow me around and basically tell me where to be, as well as complete all the tasks on my to do list, plus cook dinner.
Sounds magical right? Yeah that’s right, it didn’t exist.
So, I spent months focusing on how I could free up time, drop unnecessary things, learning to say no and prioritise love and home whilst keeping my well paid and demanding job without compromising my standards. Although some things improved, it was just like shuffling the decks and at times organising and planning took more energy.
Surely this isn't what life is meant to be. Keeping it all together and pleasing the loudest nag at a time. I also don’t want to say no to everything because I want it all! Career, family, friends and Zen! Plus, even more! That’s right I am Superwoman, but I need a super assistant to do half my tasks.
It was at this point I started to create CheeHoo!
Talking to my fellow Superwoman around me, I saw that today requires us to carry double the load, whilst not fully surrendering all duties in the home, but instead added more to our plate. We are taking on all facets of life at home, with kids, in the Boardroom, snapping in with Technology and all its social goodness into the melting pot.
We are all BUSY - but are we progressing the life we want to live with the precious time we have!?
I jotted down in my little red pocket book for about six months all the things I wanted this magical CheeHoo fairy to do. I held focus groups and talked to all around me to see just how they were 'doing it all' and what they really wanted.
CheeHoo to me is a way of being as well as an App in the making. Trying to focus on what’s important, being able to celebrate the good, get through the challenging times and enjoy the journey. Yes, pretty cliché'.
I truly want CheeHoo to be all the characteristics of love, bringing back those closest to you into your life and living a life of courage, selfishness, perseverance, commitment, generosity, patience and respect. This is easier said than done, but it's better to start then never to experience it.
Over the next few months I hope to introduce you to CheeHoo Life, where nothing is impossible. You Love, you are Loved, and the universe aligns to serve you!
Spend less time caught up in the clutter and more focusing on what is truly important.